Top 5 Essentials for Your Iceland Camping Trip Packing List

A good rain jacket is a must in Iceland. You want to avoid getting soaked while hiking or trying to see puffins. Long sleeves for layering are also essential to help keep your core warm. Plus, a knit hat is necessary to combat the fierce wind. Finally, a decent camera is a must for capturing the beauty of the Northern Lights and the Icelandic landscape.

Waterproof Jacket

A waterproof jacket is the most essential outerwear for your trip to Iceland. It will be what you wear when spelunking through a waterfall, walking on coastal trails, and, most importantly, exploring the famous geothermal pools. You will want to avoid jackets that claim to be water or wind resistant, as these do not keep you completely dry and can lead to overheating during physical exertion.

A fully insulated waterproof jacket like this is best; it even packs into one of its pockets. A hooded version is also helpful in protecting your head from rain and snow.

Depending on the season, you will also need a pair of lightweight waterproof boots or hiking shoes. Pack a pair of crampons and ice axes if you are staying in hostels during the winter or planning a glacier hike. You will want a comfortable pair of flip-flops for the communal showers at the campsites, and a good pair of woolen socks are a must after getting muddy on a walk or taking a dip in the hot springs.

Reusable Water Bottle

No matter the season, a water bottle should be at the top of your packing list for a trip to Iceland. This is especially important if you’ll be hiking or spotting Puffins in Iceland since you’ll want to be prepared for any weather conditions. For those interested in photography, a compact tripod is a must-have for Iceland. It’ll allow you to take long-exposure shots of waterfalls and capture the Northern Lights with clarity and ease. Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring extra SD cards and an external hard drive to store all your photos.

Also, consider bringing a pair of flip-flops to wear when going for a dip in one of Iceland’s natural hot springs or geothermal pools. This will prevent your shoes from getting too dirty in the communal showers, and it’s just more comfortable than wearing socks around the pool. Plus, it’s also a good idea to pack a few pairs of quick-drying microfiber towels. You never know when they’ll come in handy.

Rain Pants

Regardless of the season, a good pair of rain pants are an essential piece of clothing to pack for Iceland. Hiking or other outdoor activities protect your legs from rain, wind, and cold.

Waterproof shoes are also necessary, especially if you plan to hike or walk on rough terrain. Winter Boots are entirely waterproof, super warm, and durable enough for Iceland’s rugged terrain.

A waterproof backpack is another must-have item for Iceland. You want one large enough to fit your boots and thermals but still carry-on sized for those pesky airline baggage fees. A Patagonia Black Hole Backpack or an Osprey Farpoint 40l are good choices.

A good quality compact tripod is essential for taking crisp, clear pictures of waterfalls, mountains, and the Northern Lights. You’ll also want to bring a polarizing filter to cut through the glare and add contrast to your photos. This is an inexpensive and easy accessory to buy online before your trip. It will save you from paying high-priced local prices.

Sleep Mask

Iceland is the land of spectacular sunrises and sunsets, but it also has some pretty bright nights during summer. A sleep mask is a must-pack if you’re a light sleeper struggling to fall asleep in complete darkness.

Similarly, sunglasses are essential to shield your eyes from the intense, blinding sun that bounces off snow and ice. And lastly, sunscreen is always a good idea. And finally, a portable charger is worth its weight in gold. With long road trip days and a few campsites with scarce power outlets, this little accessory will ensure you can keep up with your phone, camera, music, and other electronics. And remember a travel adapter. Iceland uses European electrical sockets, so bringing an adapter will save you some hassle and ensure your electronic devices are compatible with local outlets.


Despite Iceland’s cool temps, the sun can be harsh and cause burns. A good, lightweight sunscreen is essential for your trip. Even if it’s cloudy, you could get burned by UV rays reflecting off of snow or water.

A waterproof camera is also a must. You’ll want to capture the rushing waterfalls and Northern Lights. A compact tripod is excellent for steady shots. You’ll also find that a polarizing filter helps cut through glare on overcast days.

Depending on when you go, you might need a swimsuit for the Blue Lagoon or some smaller hot springs like Myvatn Baths and Hofsos Hot Pool. It’s also a good idea to bring a microfibre travel towel since admission to the more upscale hot springs often doesn’t include towels.